- Nigeria's minister of state for petroleum has revealed that drastic measures have to be taken in the Niger Delta
- The Niger Delta Avengers have threatened to resume attacks on the country's oil installation
- However, the minister has complained that the government is unable to deliver on its promises of more cash
It has been announced that Ibe Kachikwu will visit the Niger Delta this week to stop the threat of more insurgent attacks in the area.
According to him, without more investment it would be a struggle to ease tensions and develop its main crude producing region.
The Niger Delta Avengers announced on Friday, November 3, that it had ended its ceasefire in its campaign for more of Nigeria’s oil earnings.
However according to Reuters, Kachikwu said Nigeria would be unable to meet the demands. “We’re constrained by cash,” the minister said. “We’ve scurried around for some money just to begin the process.”
He also said he would meet representatives of the militants and other stakeholders during a visit to the region on November 9.
He was worried that a return to violence by the militants would be “mutually destructive”, adding: “I am sure that like they did the last time, when they see a concrete action plan they would listen.”
Speaking on plans from the oil block, he said: “It’s been allocated, and there are development plans for it (the block) and those development plans should go forward. The development of assets should not suffer because we are dealing with a legacy transparency issue.”
Nigeria has called for early talks to renew oil licenses held by Shell, Total and others. Licences for several key fields expire in two years and oil firms are typically reluctant to make big investments without long-term assurances.
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Meanwhile, the Nigerian Navy has said that it is ready to protect the nation’s critical assets against attacks from members of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) who recently threatened to resume attacks on oil installations.
The chief of naval staff, Vice Admiral Ibo-Ete Ibas, assured multinational oil companies of adequate protection of their staff and oil facilities in the Niger Delta region despite the recent threat by Avengers.
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